“Massive tornado rips through Moore, Oklahoma; 51 killed, more feared dead,” reads the headline.

Moore is my hometown, in a sense. I was born in that city and lived there for the first couple years of my life. I have an uncle and aunt who live about ten miles south of Moore in a city called Norman. We call them Big Mom and Big Dad–it makes more sense if you know what to call your dad’s older brother in Korean. I called them earlier to check on them, and they let me know that their part of town was unscathed. They had taken refuge in their tornado shelter for a bit but were okay. I found out that Big Dad went to go check on the house I’d called my first home earlier today. Big Mom let me know that it had been razed to the ground by the tornado.

Big Dad & Big Mom, 11/19/2011

We used to visit Oklahoma relatively often when we were younger. We always stayed in that house in Moore, and I honestly never thought that I was fond of it at all. The house was mostly pretty dimly lit, and it was full of antiques that I wasn’t supposed to touch. Yet somehow, news of its destruction saddened me. It comes as a surprising reminder of how much I really take things for granted. What if Big Mom and Big Dad hadn’t moved to Norman and were still residing in Moore? I need to love so much more than I have been loving, because I don’t know when the people around me will be swept away. And I need to express this love even more, whether it’s in the form of an extra text, email, letter or phone call.

As with all disasters, please pray for the people affected by these events. And please pray for your loved ones, and don’t hesitate to let them know that you do. The pride and discomfort that keep you from expressing your love will do little to soothe the ache of regret and grief when you have no more opportunities to do so.


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